Happy Pi Day!

Common Core State Standards: 
Use Appropriate Tools Strategically
Model with Mathematics
Express Regularity in Repeated Reasoning
Literacy in Science & Technical Subjects
Instructional Strategies: 
Visual Representations
Interacting With Peers

Pi Day is just around the corner! It’s a fun and exciting way to engage your students with mathematics and the world around them—with technology. There are a number of great resources and ideas online for celebrating Pi Day, from the silly to the serious.  Many of these resources are excellent ways to help your students interact with math outside the boundaries of a typical math class. In addition to measuring, cutting up, and eating pie, check out some of these other fun activities:

  • Start with a history lesson with “A Brief History of π."
  • Check out the “Pi Searcher” tool for searching the first 200 million digits of Pi. Have students enter different strings of numbers (birthdays, phone numbers, etc.) to see what they come up with. Have students collaborate with peers and think aloud about what the results might mean. What are the odds that your phone number would show up in Pi? What about fewer digits? 
  • Consider following “The Pi Searcher” on Google Plus to see all their Pi-related posts and updates. Tongue-in-cheek and fun discussions of Pi.
  • Explore multiple representations of Pi. What does Pi look like if represented by colors and shapes? What would Pi sound like? Using visual representations and models can be a great way to help your students grasp information, plus these tools are fun to play with!
  • Use simulations and virtual tools that explore some of the many fascinating discoveries related to Pi. One cool one to check out: Buffon’s Needle Simulation.
  • More virtual manipulatives and lessons can be found on the NCTM Illuminations website
  • View the Pi Day Webquest!

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